Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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TNA Impact Wrestling “Sacrifice” Report
April 26, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opened with a graphic honoring Chyna. Her name was displayed in bold blue letters, with “Joan Marie Laurer” underneath and 1970-2016 across the bottom of the screen.
In-arena: Josh Mathews welcomed us to Sacrifice.
In-ring: Tyrus was in the ring. “Tick-tock, tick-tock,” he said. “Drew, your time is up.” Tyrus said that Galloway promised to defend the TNA World Hvt. Title here tonight. Tyrus said that Galloway’s time was up and it was time for Tyrus to become the new World Hvt. Champion.
Rockstar Spud was in the ring with Tyrus and said that the new World Champion would be Tyrus. Drew Galloway made his ring entrance and it seems as though the World Title match is going to open the program. Galloway’s ribs are bandaged as Mathews shows replays of Bobby Lashley spearing Galloway two weeks ago and then Tyrus and Spud attacking him last week.
1 — TNA World Hvt. champion DREW GALLOWAY vs. TYRUS — TNA World Hvt. Title match
The match almost immediately spills to the outside. Spud is involved early on. Tyrus picks up Galloway, but Galloway is able to shift his way off Tyrus’s shoulders and then throws him into the guardrail. Galloway delivers a few chops to Tyrus’s chest on the outside.
Galloway chases Spud off near ringside and then turns around to get met with a fallaway slam from Tyrus. Tyrus rolls Galloway back into the ring. Tyrus drops all of his weight on Galloway, but the champion kicks out at two.
Tyrus pulls the tape off Galloway’s ribs and then delivers a bodyslam. With Galloway down after the slam, he kicks Galloway in the rings. Tyrus goes for a splash off the ropes, but Galloway moves. Tyrus back to his feet first and goes for a splash in the corner but Galloway ducks out of the way.
Galloway tries to gain control back with right hands to Tyrus in the corner and then a flying forearm. Galloway goes to the top rope and hits a flying forearm off the top.
Galloway goes to the corner and calls for the Claymore, but Spud jumps up on the apron to distract the referee. Tyrus misses hitting Galloway with the belt and Galloway lands a bulldog. Galloway then pulls Spud into the ring and tosses him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Galloway then hits a Claymore on Tyrus, but he kicks out at two-and-a-half.
With Galloway down, Tyrus tries to go the top, but Galloway gets up and catches him. Mathews says that Tyrus didn’t look comfortable going to the top rope. Tyrus is positioned on the second rope and Galloway tries to get him up for a superplex off the top. Galloway covers Tyrus, but he kicks out at two again.
Tyrus is getting back to his feet and he’s trading punches with Galloway. Tyrus misses a clothesline and Galloway starts to fire right hands on Tyrus. Galloway hits the Future Shock DDT for the pin.
After the match, Galloway is shown in pain on the mat. Mathews almost immediately transitions to a video package on last week’s I Quit match between Matt and Jeff Hardy.
WINNER: Drew Galloway at 8:11 to retain the TNA World Hvt. Title at 8:11.
[Reax: Odd match placement having this open the show. It was set up only last week and not really hyped, but it’s still a World Title match. It felt like a run-of-the-mill opener rather than something a bit more special if it were placed at the end of the show. The main event is ECIII vs. Mike Bennett, and considering that match is closing the show, it pretty much guarantees that we’ll see Bennett end ECIII’s streak tonight … let’s see.]
Mathews says that later tonight, we’ll have update on the health of Jeff Hardy.
Backstage: Maria is talking into a mirror. She said everyone is curious about her plans for the Knockouts Division. She said no one is going to stop her, not even Gail Kim.
[Commercial Break at 9:13]
[Q2] Backstage: Beer Money is talking in the locker room. James Storm says they don’t care about defending the titles any time, anywhere. Decay should know that. Roode said that Decay is sick and twisted and anything goes tonight. They want violence, Roode said. “These titles are our legacy,” said Roode. “They are the reason we got back together. No matter what, tonight we don’t go down without a fight.”
In-ring: Maria is in the ring cutting a promo on leading the Knockouts Division. Her music is playing in the background. Maria said that she doesn’t need to change, the audience does. She said that they need a human revolution. She said she’s so excited.
At that point, Gail Kim enters. “This is truly a sad day,” Gail said. “Everything we built in this division … and now you’re the boss.” Maria said no one cares about Gail Kim or the Knockouts. She called Gail delusional and then Gail accused Maria of being responsible for Decay kidnapping her.
Gail said she wanted to kick Maria’s head in, but Maria said that she won’t, because Maria is in power now. Maria threatened to take away professional wrestling from Gail. Maria asked where Gail’s proof was for saying she was behind Decay? Gail called Maria crazy, but Maria said she’s not crazy and neither is Gail. Maria said that the Knockouts will be run in Maria’s vision, and she’ll allow Gail to wrestling. In fact, Maria said she would allow Gail to wrestle tonight … against Rosemary.
[Commercial Break at 9:23]
2 — GAIL KIM vs. ROSEMARY (w/Crazzy Steve)
Gail jumps Rosemary as soon as the bell rings and starts punching and kicking her in the corner. Maria is shown sitting at ringside.
Gail hits a splash in the corner. Gail rolls to the outside and yells something at Maria and Maria starts to back up the ramp. When Gail turns around, Rosemary throws her into the ring post.
Rosemary rolls Gail back into the ring and gets into the mount position, hitting a series of elbows and forearms. Mathews said that he asked Gail what happened when she was kidnapped by Decay and apparently Gail doesn’t remember.
[Q3] In the corner, Rosemary is landing forearms on Gail’s chest and then splashes her in the corner. Out of the corner, Rosemary hits a fallaway slam. Mathews notes that this is Rosemary’s first one-on-one match. Rosemary covers Gail for a two count.
Rosemary locks on a submission. After a few seconds, Gail rolls it into a pinning predicament and then reserves the hold but Rosemary breaks free. But, the reversal allows Gail to be in control for a few moments until Rosemary tries to choke out Gail near the ropes. Rosemary pays a little too much attention to Crazzy Steve on the outside gives Gail enough time to land a dropkick.
Gail wraps Rosemary into a figure-four around the ringpost. After breaking the hold, Gail climbs back into the ring and hits a series of three kicks. Gail misses with the fourth kick but then hits a tackle and a clothesline.
Gail goes to the top and hits a cross-body for a two count. Gail hits a reverse DDT and goes for a cover, but Crazzy Steve pulls Gail out of the ring. Gail then slaps Crazzy Steve. Maria climbs up on the apron as Gail climbs to the top rope. Maria yells at Gail to get down. Gail tries to choke Maria but the referee pulls her off. As Gail turns around, Rosemary spits the mist into Gail Kim’s face.
WINNER: Rosemary at 6:09.
Backstage: Eli Drake is “walking the red carpet” for TNA Impact, or so he says. There is a red carpet? Anyway, Drake says that he’s hosting a talk show after the break.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
Fact of Life Promo Segment
Drake is in the ring as Impact returns. He’s standing at a podium that says “Fact of Life” on the front. Drake said that looking around the Impact Zone, it’s filled with dummies. Drake said that he is the official namer of dummies. Drake calls Fact of Life the greatest talk show segment in the history of Impact.
Drake is wearing a sleeveless shirt with a vest and tie. Drake calls Jeff Hardy a dummy for jumping off scaffolding last week. Drake says that Galloway is a dummy. Drake has a dummy button that he hits, which sounds a recording of Drake just saying, “dummy, yeah.”
The Bro-Mans are then introduced as Drake’s first guests. Robbie E. asks which dummy he was? Drake calls Godderz and Robbie E both dummies wearing glasses with no lenses. Drake said that Godderz had it made riding on Drake’s back to the top. Drake said if Godderz just stuck around, he would be a tag team champion with Drake.
[Q4] Godderz said that Drake is fighting for his life against Grado … the crowd starts to chant for Grado. Drake said that Godderz was a dummy, even back when he was with Drake. Drake said that Godderz is “100 percent moron, idiot.”
Godderz tells Robbie to hold his glasses and then to stand over there while he “kicks E-Li Drake’s ass.” Drake tries to calm down Godderz and then cheap shots Robbie with an elbow. The Bro-Mans quickly gain control, however, and Eli rolls to the outside. Robbie E said that Drake is the only dummy in the Impact Zone as the Bro-Mans music plays out the segment.
[Reax: There would have been better ways to set up an eventual Eli Drake & ??? vs. The Bro-Mans match. This segment was painful, and not because of the performers – Drake is quite good on the mic – it was the ridiculous content they had to work with. Drake as a heel is good enough. The “dummy button” and constant use of the word “dummy” made the segment feel more childish and hokey.]
Still to come: ECIII vs. Mike Bennett.
Up next: Beer Money vs. Decay for the TNA Tag Titles.
Backstage: Abyss says that they laugh because things are funny and true. He said Monster’s Ball is a staple of Impact, but tonight they enter the Valley of Shadows. Abyss says that tonight, Decay further solidifies their immortality as they take “their tag team gold” and they further The Decay.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
Backstage: ECIII is addressing the camera. He said sacrifice is not a word he takes lightly. But he said he’s not here to talk about it, he’s here to show it. ECIII said that he’s not perfect despite not being pinned or submitted because he’s not World Champion. But ECIII said that journey back to that begins tonight. He told Bennett that tonight, he would have no mercy.
Still to come: Mike Bennett vs. ECIII
3 — TNA Tag Team champions BEER MONEY (James Storm & Bobby Roode) vs. DECAY (Abyss & Crazzy Steve) — Valley of the Shadows match for the TNA Tag Titles
The match starts on the outside as Beer Money makes their entrance. There are tables and chairs strewn around the ring, but the arena is also lit very dark. Pope says that it’s lit just like Decay wants, because they enjoy dark places.
Beer Money has Steve in the ring and Steve rolls to the outside, where it’s even more dark. Storm and Roode play up not being able to find Steve or Abyss on the outside. Suddenly, one pops up from each side and pulls them out of the ring to continue the brawl.
On the outside, Storm tries to powerbomb Steve through a table but he grabs a rope to pull himself off Storm’s shoulders. Mathews reiterates that there is no disqualification in this match Still on the outside, Crazzy Steve is shown biting James Storm’s head. Abyss throws weapons into the ring.
[Q5 — second hour] Abyss throws trash cans and chairs and a kendo stick, among other things, into the ring. Steve has the kendo stick on Storm while Abyss uses a cheese grader on Roode, but Roode fights back quickly. Both Abyss and Steve have kendo sticks now and are focusing on one member each of Beer Money.
Steve and Abyss double-team Roode, throwing him into the corner shoulder first. Abyss slams Storm on top of a trash can. Steve lays a chair on top of Storm and then Abyss tries to launch Steve onto Storm but Storm throws the chair into the air to hit Steve.
Abyss misses a clothesline and Roode hits a Blockbuster off the top. Storm with a DDT on Steve and a spinebuster on Abyss. Storm goes to the top rope and hits a diving elbow on Abyss for a two count.
[Commercial Break at 10:02]
Back from the break, Storm hits a superkick Abyss. Beer Money hits a double suplex on Steve through a barbed-wire board. Beer Money does their pose but Abyss hits a double clothesline as Steve is convulsing in pain. Abyss grabs a bag and empties thumbtacks on the mat.
Abyss tries to splash Roode but Roode gets a boot up. Abyss hits a blackhole slam but Roode kicks out at two. Rosemary then climbs into the ring and tries to mist Roode but he ducks and she mists Abyss. Storm spits Beer into Rosemary’s face. Storm smashes the beer bottle off Abyss’s head, but Abyss kicks out at two.
Storm climbs to the top, looking to leap onto Abyss on the outside, but Steve sneaks up and shoves him off the top, sending him through a table on the outside. When Steve turns around, Roode goes for a Roode Bomb but Rosemary hits a low blow. Abyss then chokeslams Roode into the thumbtacks as Abyss covers him for the win.
WINNER: Decay at 15:29 to win the TNA Tag Titles.
[Reax: Assuming that’s the last time we see Beer Money, with Roode’s well-documented release from TNA, at least the Beer Money act went out putting over a new up-and-coming group in Decay. Despite the weaponry, which fits here because it’s sort of Decay’s gimmick, this was a good match that definitely elevates Decay. It’s their first big win. It would have been nice to see TNA ignore the silly kidnapping storyline from last week, but it seems as though they are embracing it and running even more with it, referencing it on more than one occasion.]
[Q6] Backstage: Bram said it doesn’t take a scientist to realize that he’s pissed a E.Y. Bram said E.Y.’s blatant disrespect gets to him. Bram screams that this stops tonight. He said tonight, he’ll take away E.Y.’s KOTM Title, and he also promises to “end” him.
[Commercial Break at 10:16]
Backstage: Mike Bennett is addressing the camera and says that ECIII has lost everything since Bennett debuted. Bennett said the only thing that ECIII holds dear to him is his streak, and tonight it doesn’t matter if he pins ECIII or taps him out, as long as he beats him. Bennett said that after he wins, the crowd will chant, “yes we do,” and at that point, ECIII will realize that The Miracle has taken everything.
In-ring: Eric Young said that tonight he will remain King of the Mountain and then runs down Bram a bit. He’s yelling, of course.
4 — TNA KOTM champion ERIC YOUNG vs. BRAM — King of the Mountain Title match
Bram runs into the ring and the fight starts right away. E.Y. lands a series of chops in the corner. Mathews says that in this match, falls will count anywhere. Bram hits a clothesline out of the corner and then a back drop.
The match spills to the outside. E.Y. goes under the ring. He pulls out a trashcan lid but Bram pulls him out from under the ring by his ankles. Back in the ring, E.Y. low blows Bram after Bram tried to swipe at him with a piece of metal.
E.Y. hits a DDT off the trashcan lid. On the outside, E.Y. sets up a table. He smashes the trashcan lid over Bram’s head, again. Bram answers with right hands and then a trashcan lid shot of his own, followed by another. Bram powerbombs E.Y. but only gets a two count.
With both men set up on the top rope, E.Y. bites Bram and tosses him off the top rope before hitting a flying elbow. E.Y. looks at the table he set up at ringside, very similar to the way he injured Jeff Hardy. On the apron, E.Y. sets up Bram for a piledriver, but Bram low-blows E.Y.
Bram hits a Brighter Side of Suffering on the outside through the table to get the win. After the match, Bram celebrates with the belt on the outside. Mathews wonders where this win takes Bram in his career.
WINNER: Bram at 6:13 to win the King of the Mountain Title.
[Reax: This would have been a good spot for the main event, or perhaps even the 10:00 p.m. spot. TNA essentially ran two hardcore matches in a row. Usually they should try to limit it to one such match per show, but if you need to book two of them, spread them out on the show. Move the title match to one of the two hardcore spots, and move that match to the opener. I can’t see why or how this would have been a problem.]
[Commercial Break at 10:29]
[Q7] Backstage: Galloway said he has a target on his back as World Champion. He said he wants to talk about Lashley. He said he hasn’t forgotten about the attack and also wondered why he hasn’t seen Lashley around. Galloway challenges Lashley to meet him in the ring next week.
In-arena: Jeff Hardy enters the arena. Hardy said that seeing what the World Title did to his brother drives him crazy. Hardy said that he hopes the swanton was a wakeup call and that things would change with Matt.
Hardy said that creatures will never stop being creatures and Jeff Hardy will never stop being Jeff Hardy. Reby Sky appears on stage and starts walking to the ring with Spud. She screams that she hates Jeff.
Reby gets into the ring with Spud. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Spud asks. “I represent Matt Hardy. Unlike you, I represent the Hardy family. I represent Matt, Reby and Maxel. You, Jeff, you’re just selfish. You do things for yourself. … You have destroyed Matt. For what you have done to him, for what you have done to this brand and this family, you are going to pay.”
Reby gets in Jeff’s face and says it makes her sick just being next to him. “You tore this family apart,” she said. “All you had to do was say ‘I quit.’ My husband made you a star. … There would be no Hardys if not for Matt Hardy. This is your brother, your own flesh and blood. After what you did, it’s different. He’s changed. He’s quiet. He’s cold. He won’t even talk to me anymore and the hate in his eyes scares me. Now you have to deal with the Matt Hardy you created.”
Reby then spits in Jeff’s face and slaps him. Reby goes for another slap, but Jeff blocks it. Spud yells to leave her alone. Jeff turns his back and Spud takes out his knee. Spud picks up Jeff, but Jeff hits Twist of Fate on Spud. Reby checks on Spud as Jeff’s music plays and he walks back up the ramp.
Up Next: ECIII vs. Mike Bennett.
[Commercial Break at 10:41]
[Q8] In-arena: Back from the break, Jeremy Borash is introducing tonight’s main event. Mike Bennett is out first … Maria enters first before Bennett. She asks the crowd if they believe in the Miracle?
5 — MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. ETHAN CARTER III — match must end in pinfall or submission
Bennett starts in control before ECIII lands a backdrop and then clotheslines Bennett to the outside. Bennett grabs a chair while on the outside. He rolls back into the ring. ECIII climbs back into the ring and Bennett charges with the chair but ECIII launches him over the top rope back to the outside.
ECIII slams Bennett into the barricades around the ring. Bennett and ECIII continue to brawl at ringside. Back in the ring, ECIII goes for a cover, but Bennett kicks out at two. Back up, ECIII scoops up Bennett but Bennett appeared to rake ECIII’s eyes, allowing him to go back on the offense. He tries to hit a clothesline in the corner, but ECIII gets a boot up. Bennett then throws ECIII shoulder-first into the ring post and ECIII falls to the outside.
ECIII is clutching his shoulder as Bennett continues the assault. Back in the ring, ECIII begins to fight back, hitting an ECIII splash before Bennett lands a kick but ECIII telegraphed a clothesline and hits a flapjack.
ECIII tries for the One-Percenter, but Bennett counters into a spinebuster after a huge forearm. ECIII kicks out a two. Bennett tries for a cutter but ECIII counters. ECIII goes to the top rope, but Bennett cuts him off. ECIII and Bennett trade punches on the top before ECIII knocks him off the turnbuckle. ECIII then hits a cross-body for a two count.
ECII hits a huge clothesline, which sends both men down. Both men try to get back to their feet. Bennett and ECIII trade right hands before Bennett kicks ECIII in the injured shoulder. ECIII hits a TK3 in the middle of the ring.
ECIII tries to set up a One-Percenter but Bennett hits a cutter for a two count. Bennett then grabs the steel chair and begins to beat down ECIII. Bennett lands several chair shots to ECIII’s back.
ECIII counters a cutter into a One-Percenter. ECIII covers for a two count after Maria enters the ring and shoves Earl Hebner away, preventing the three count. ECIII stares down Maria.
ECIII grabs the chair, looks at Maria and pummels Bennett with chair shots. ECIII then locks in a choke. Bennett keeps trying to fight out of the hold. Bennett works himself into the corner and as ECIII tries to launch himself back, to lock in the choke all the way, Bennett flips him over and ends up scoring the pinfall.
After the match, Bennett gets his hand raised on the ramp as ECIII looks despondent in the corner.
WINNER: Mike Bennett via pin at 11:13.
Final Thoughts: If you’re going to have someone end ECIII’s streak as being unpinned and unsubmitted, Bennett is obviously the right guy to do it. With so many top names leaving TNA, Bennett is someone they have under contract for a good period of time and he’s young enough that TNA can build something around him.
The match placement obviously makes more sense with this outcome as well. ECIII’s streak ending should close the show. However, was the World Title match really needed? Maybe leave that until next week? Looking back, TNA really telegraphed the result of the main event by not putting it on sooner and not having the World Title match close the show.
The Drake promo dragged and didn’t showcase his best stuff. The placement of two hardcore matches back-to-back also wasn’t the brightest idea.
It was good to see Matt Hardy off television this week, selling the effect of that dive from last week. Having Jeff appear on the show was fine. He was delivering the move and Matt was clearly more injured after the dive.
Decay winning the tag titles was also the right time, as was Bram winning the KOTM Title. This was a very newsworthy episode.